Adam Tanksley was 3 years old when he was diagnosed with Wilm’s Tumor. Because of a negative histology his survival rate was 35%. THIRTY FIVE PERCENT.
His cancer was staged at level IV because it has metastasized throughout his little body. He had tumors in his lungs, his abdomen, and behind his heart. His mom, Sharon Tanksley, spent 310 nights in the hospital with him between 2008-2009 while her other two children and her husband stayed at home. Yes, they came to visit, but Sharon stayed in the hospital with Adam.
During his stay, Adam received Phase III Clinical Trial Drugs and Sharon believes these drugs helped shrink Adams tumors.
Long hospital stays and clinical trials drugs on a baby. Her baby. What would have happened to her family unit if she was told Adam could not receive the care he needed at Levine Children’s Hospital? It was bad enough that Adam had to be in the hospital away from his family, but what would have happened if he would have had to MOVE to another state to receive the treatment he needed? The Tanksley Family would have had another difficult decision on top what they were already going through.
Yes, I am going to bet if they were told Adam had to be moved to another state to get the treatment he needed, he would have gone. But would the whole family move? Or would his Mom, Sharon, just go with him leaving her other two children behind? The decisions families have to make concerning cancer treatment is overwhelming. It was at this time that the Tanksley Family decided to do something positive.
The Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation was established:
“…in honor of Adam Tanksley and his strength in fighting Wilms’ Tumor, a rare childhood cancer of the kidney. Adam is a testament to how strong you can be mentally, physically, and spiritually even at the young age of 5 years old.
Together, leveraging each other’s expertise, passion for helping others, as well as our faith, we are working to make a difference in the lives of children and their families affected by pediatric cancer. We are an approved non-profit 501(c) and all our proceeds goes 100% to pediatric cancer research at Levine. All donations are eligible as tax deductions by the IRS. We plan events, fundraisers, and speaking engagements for three (3) main reasons:
1) Raise funds to help further research and development for a cure for pediatric cancer.
2) To generate awareness about pediatric cancer.
3) Provide uplifting, fun experiences for patients and their families affected by pediatric cancer.”
But what you don’t read above is that part of what the intention of The Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation is that they are trying to ensure that children with cancer in the Charlotte and surrounding areas can receive the treatment they need without having to move to another state to receive treatment.
With the support of the Carolinas Kids Cancer Research Foundation (which includes The Adam Faulk Tanksley Foundation) Levine Children’s Hospital is now able to develop Phase I and Phase II clinical trials. Why is this important?
“The development of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials at Levine Children’s Hospital places it among the nation’s elite healthcare providers in the battle against pediatric cancer.
By adding Phase I and Phase II trials, the Pediatric Hematology and Oncology Center at Levine Children’s Hospital will assure early access to potentially life saving treatment options for children and their families, all close to home in a supportive, family-centered environment. This development continues a commitment by Levine Children’s Hospital to provide the best possible care for the children and families of the Charlotte region.”
The Coalition has announced endowment commitments of $5.7 million to the Levine Children’s Hospital in support of the development of Phase I and Phase II clinical trials.
Why haven’t I heard of this before I talked to Sharon? I don’t know. This seems like a pretty big deal to me. Something that we, as people of North Carolina, should be proud of. That there is a hospital in our area that is diligently working to cure cancer in children. Maybe most of us do not hear about it or know about it because our children don’t have cancer. But that doesn’t mean we shouldn’t know about it and help support the development of these clinical trials. What if your childs’ child had cancer? What if your neighbors child was diagnosed with cancer? What if YOUR child was diagnosed with cancer? Wouldn’t you at least like to be familiar with what Levine’s Childrens Hospital was offering thanks to foundations like The Adam Faulk Tanskley Foundation?
Once again I am rambling on and on and I know sometimes I write WAAAY to much for you to read, but what can I say – I just can’t stop myself when it comes to cancer and the people affected by cancer!
THIS IS WHY I AM DOING THIS.
NO ONE, NO Adult, NO teenager NO child should have to lose their battle with cancer. NO ONE.
The Adam Tanskley Foundation is always scheduling events designed to raise awareness and funds for the fight against pediatric cancer and you can bet, when the next one rolls around I will be there one way or another!
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